Sherdog.com Preview: Ultimate Fight Night 4 Part II

SAM HOGER vs. RASHAD EVANS

Apr 6, 2006
HOGER: Sam Hoger (Pictures), 6-1-0, trains with Tim Sylvia (Pictures), Tony Fryklund (Pictures), Jason Black (Pictures), Pat Miletich (Pictures) and the rest of the Miletich Fighting Systems team.

Hoger was inspired by “The Karate Kid” as a child and trained Karate with Tom Okamoto, earning a black belt. At 14 he began studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu and continued to train until he moved to attend Louisiana State University.

While at school he started the LSU BJJ team, an extension of the Carlson Gracie Team directed by Roni Salas and Chris Seifert. The training was solid but Seifert told him that to become the best he could be, he had to train with a professional team. Sam worked his way into a tryout at Miletich Fighting Systems over spring break and worked out with the team. Upon graduation from LSU, he formerly joined MFS.

Sam began fighting in Reality Combat 9 show and won his first fight by choke in under 30 seconds. He returned to Reality Combat 11 and pounded his way to victory in less than a minute. Hoger took some time away from the sport and fought as a pro in 2003 knocking his opponent out with a kick in the first round. He fought Josh Hendricks at the Next Level Fighting promotion and choked him out in the first round. Sam won a bout in the Extreme Challenge to round out ’03 and fought just once in ’04, winning both bouts by submission.

Hoger was seen by a scout for The Ultimate Fighter and was told if he lost some weight, he’d be able to try out. He made the cut for the show but didn’t fight until near the end of the season. Sam met Forrest Griffin (Pictures) and was eliminated when Griffin stopped him with strikes in the second round. On the finale, Sam fought Bobby Southworth (Pictures) and won a unanimous decision.

He fought Stephan Bonnar (Pictures) on the Ultimate Fight Night 1 show and suffered his first loss, albeit by decision. In his most recent bout, Hoger met Jeff Newton (Pictures) at UFC 56 and won by rear-choke in the second round.

EVANS: Rashad Evans (Pictures), 6-0-0, was a Division-1 Wrestler at Michigan State University. He has trained with UFC triple crown winner (UFC 5 tournament title, UFC heavyweight title, Ultimate Ultimate tournament title) Dan Severn (Pictures) and has been training with Diego Sanchez (Pictures), Joey Villasenor (Pictures), Keith Jardine (Pictures), Brian Schall (Pictures), Damacio Page (Pictures) and Dan Christison (Pictures) under the direction of Greg Jackson at Jackson’s Gaidojutsu Academy.

Evans began fighting in late 2003 in the Dangerzone promotion. He won a four-man tournament, defeating George Crawford in the final bout. Rashad won another four-man tourney in Dangerzone, beating Dennis Reed (Pictures) in the semis and Dan Anderson in the final. At Gladiator Challenge 26 he stopped Bryan Pardoe (Pictures) with strikes and the next day he won decisions over Hector Ramirez (Pictures) and Jamie Jara.

In 2005 he earned a spot on the season two cast of The Ultimate Fighter. He fought Tom Murphy (Pictures) in his first elimination bout, Mike Whitehead (Pictures) a month later in his second elimination bout and Keith Jardine (Pictures) in the semifinal three days after that. Evans beat all three opponents by decision and then beat Brad Imes (Pictures) by split decision to win the UFC contract.

MY PICK: Hoger. I’d pick Evans as he is undefeated but his last six fights have been won by decision. That string, whether by luck or by skill, cannot continue indefinitely. Hopefully the move down to light heavyweight will make him faster and working with Sanchez and friends will make him a better all-around fighter. He’s not going to get a submission on Hoger and Sam’s stand-up is solid too, so he’d have to bang it out on the mat. I just see Hoger playing the waiting game and eventually setting him up for a choke. Hoger by submission in the third round.
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